Paris in the Spring, Punks in the Sun



            “We’re closing,” the manager said, not unkindly. I layered on some warm clothing, hoisted my backpack, and began a slow trek along the glistening sidewalk of the Champs Élysées.

            It was 2am, and I had spent the last five hours in McDonalds, using perhaps the only free WiFi in Paris to scramble for a couchsurfing host until my laptop died. Afterwards, I got a little sleep in a corner of the restaurant. If it kept raining, I knew I was in for a long night.

            There’s a paradox to homelessness: as long as you’re unobtrusive, it’s easiest to be a bum in affluent areas. People leave meals half-finished on the table, and shops throw food out on its best before date, creating a hobo’s buffet; there’s often more public transit; and – the best part in an unfamiliar city – orienting yourself is easy. Supposing I had…

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Gold Beach High School Edjumakayshun

I feel like until now my entire high school career has been an out of body experience. I watched myself walk through the halls, do homework, drift through the days. But now, as my days are coming to an end, it is in full swing. I try on my cap and gown and no longer am I watching from the corner of my bedroom, I’m staring back at myself in the mirror. Holy shit. I graduate in 4 days.

Lucky for me, I was blessed with a genuine Gold Beach High School Education. And an irresistible passion to be sarcastic and cynical. But in all honestly, Gold Beach High School did teach me a lot of things. Not in the most conventional ways, but it’s the thought that counts… I guess.

My teachers at Gold Beach High School taught me that just because someone’s degree says professional, doesn’t always mean they are. My friends at Gold Beach High School taught me that most of the people I consider my friends, aren’t really my friends. My family at Gold Beach High School taught me that I wouldn’t even wish having a parent as a teacher upon my worst enemy.

But what Gold Beach High School really taught me was that high school really isn’t about who finishes their homework or who has authority to give you lunch detention for a week. Gold Beach High School taught me that nothing is really as it seems and as I stand in my mirror, dressed in my cap and gown that make me look like a Douglas fir, I actually do feel pretty blessed.

Because Smart Isn’t

My whole life I’ve been told I’m smart. I’m TAG. I’m special. I’m intelligent. I’m blah blah blah. I really didn’t care. In TAG, being smart meant extra work. So in that case, I’ll pass on being smart. But being smart is a weird thing. Sometimes I get confused about what being smart is. I think here in Gold Beach smart is often confused with being a hard worker. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a hard worker and I’m smart, but if someone looked at my grades right now, they’d probably disagree.

I guess I’m just bored. I go to school every day, learn new things, and them continuously get them drilled into my mind. But that’s completely useless. I pick it up the first time. I don’t need to be taught the quadratic formula 30 times and do five different worksheets on it to understand it. I get it. I don’t need to make flashcards of Latin terms and roots. I got it the first time.

I guess I don’t do my homework because it’s boring. I am so incredibly tired of doing busy work to get easy A’s that are going to get me the same diploma as the kid next to me who skipped half the year and got D’s to pass.

I guess that’s a pretty bad thing to say, but I said it. I ripped off the band aid to my raw state of mind. I guess I’m tired of being 5th smartest to a bunch of “try-hard”s. And the worst part is that it is inevitable. I’m not Albert Einstein and I’m pretty sure I’m not going to be a high school drop out that ends up making millions (anything could happen in the next week though). But I will never have to try as hard as other’s to be society’s delusional concept of “smart”.

Because smart isn’t using big words. Because smart isn’t getting good grades. Because smart isn’t the award you received from a hard teacher.

Because smart is knowing.

I Just Can’t

This is awful. I reach into my mind which is more like an empty black hole. Nothing. Absolutely nothing comes to mind. Except for the fact that I want to do nothing while laying in the sun on a gravel bar in Agness. 

My whole life I’ve had senioritis. Different stages, same concept. All I have ever wanted to do was be done with high school. Obviously, considering I did it a year early. But never did I think I would reach the point I’m at now. 

It’s not that I don’t want to do important things. I really just can’t do it. I try so hard to sit down every Tuesday and Friday to write these blogs but I can’t. I just sit and scream into the illusion of a mind. It’s not that I don’t want to do my human biology homework, I really just can’t. 

I can’t do this and write some dumb blog because I feel like I have already ripped out 3 of 4 of my wisdom teeth by doing just this. 

Under The Bus

My whole life I’ve been constantly reminded of the “golden rule”. The rule simply states treat others the way you want to be treated. Day by day, I try to keep it in my mind. Some days I forget. I’m not perfect, but I try my best to be a good person. I will never claim to be a nice person because I know I’m not nice all the time. Likewise, I’d never claim to be a mean person either, because I know I’m not mean all the time. But I will always strive to be a good person. I do my best to be honest with people and feelings only with hope that I will receive the same honesty. 

I hear a lot about morals and values and for a really long time, I thought those things had something to do with God and the Bible. But what I have come to realize is that while many morals and values do involve religious beliefs, many others have absolutely nothing to do. For me, my morals are pretty simple, but also pretty skewed sometimes. I take incredible pride in my honesty. Don’t get me wrong, I have had my fair share of little white lies and some bigger white lies. I have also had my fair share of honesty biting me in the ass. 

On more than several occasions, I’ve had people ask me how they look and I’m never sure if they want my actual opinion or a falsified version. Usually, I go with the former and usually I sound like an asshole. On several other occasions, I’ve gotten involved in business that I should’ve stayed far, far away from, but instead spoke up and told someone information they deserved to know. Yeah, it’s a bad situation, really bad. 

But somewhere deep down, I know I did the right thing. I know it wasn’t pleasant for any party to hear what I had to say, but someone had to say it. And now, sitting comfortably under the bus I got thrown under, I can get some sleep without a guilty conscience but with a strong sense of morality. 

Can It Please Be Over Now?

Contrary to popular belief, senior year is not “a blast”. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been fun, I’ve done some cool things with some cool people. I’ve also been neck deep in homework I don’t know how to do. I’ve bullshitted more assignments than I ever thought possible. I’ve never hated school more. School is prison. I wake up every morning and see the sun shining through my window and quickly dulled by the thought that I will be trapped inside metaphorical barbed wire fences, where sunshine is an optical illusion. 

The whole year everyone talks about the end of the year and by the time the year actually starts, all anyone wants is for it to be over. Similar to every other year of school, except seniors don’t have to come back. Ever. School is now an option, for most of us. As senioritis kicks in, everything seems like an option. Options about what scholarships to apply for, what days to go to school, what classes to skip, what friends to actually consider friends. The hardest part is actually making those decisions.

Everyone will tell you about how hard it is making decisions, but honestly, during senior year, it hasn’t been. Most decision making has been based on impulse or common sense (the two don’t always correspond). If a scholarship is about community service changing my life, not gonna write it. Community service hasn’t changed my life therefore 500 words of bullshit aren’t going to happen. Oh, it’s sunny outside? Probably not going to go to school. It’s so easy to make these decisions, the hard part is the backlash.

The backlash is usually a combination of direct consequence from whatever I chose to do and my parents (dad) flipping out*. Backlash goes like this: oh shoot, didn’t get $500 scholarship because I didn’t lie, and dad thinks I’m never going to college. Of course, every action has an equal and opposite reaction, thanks Newton, but in some cases, it isn’t a very “equal” reaction.

Options are nice. We all have them. I had the option to use 50+ synonyms to nice, but I chose nice because sometimes I like to be perfectly bland. And sometimes I like to skip school. And sometimes I don’t want to go to college. And sometimes I want to do nothing. But all of the time, I want senior year to be over. 




*I can already feel the backlash coming from writing this blog 

Slipping Into Goodbye

Down to exactly one month. One month till the past 3 years are over. One month until my classmates and I walk across the poorly carpeted stage to receive the diplomas we’ve worked so hard for. Some of us, at least. In the final weeks, we reminisce on the time we’ve spent with each other. Constantly being asked what my favorite high school memories are, but there are simply too many to count. We all dress up for prom and dance the night away. The next day we wake up realizing that is the last time we will purchase an overly priced dress to wear once for a once in a lifetime high school dance. 

I went to prom every year of high school. Spent hundreds of dollars on dresses, hair, shoes, sticky bras, alterations, the usual. Spent it all for 3 nights. It seems ridiculous and honestly, it was. Especially my freshman year. Prom is this incredibly minuscule event on the big party of life, but in high school, to me, it was everything. It was the one night I got to feel like it was all about me as my hair sat perfectly done and I slipped into a dress as everyone showered me with compliments. Call me conceited, it was awesome. 

It’s high school. All girls want is to be called pretty and prom night is like Halloween but instead of candy, girls get compliments. We dance and sing along to the songs as they blast from speakers taller than us. We judge every single girl’s dress, hair, shoes, and even the way their corsage was put together. Head to toe, we notice. 

I guess I didn’t realize it as I slipped into my dress Saturday night. And I didn’t realize it as I brushed out my heavily teased and hair sprayed up do. I didn’t realize it as I wiped the make up off my sleepy eyes. And I definitely didn’t realize it as my legs were sore from dancing so much.

I realized it today. On a Tuesday, just like any other. I realized that I’m never going to another prom again. I’m never going to another high school dance again. Here pretty soon, I’m never going to another high school class again. Or a high school lunch. Or a high school anything for that matter because here pretty soon, it’s going to be over. It’ll be time to say goodbye to the frigid hallways I’ve laughed and cried in the past three years. It’ll be time to say goodbye to the teachers who taught me many things, some things like teachers can be bad people too. It’ll be time to leave and slip into a different kind of gown. 

Too Close For Comfort

My skin is on fire. It is about to arrive. It’s kind of bittersweet. The sun shines bright and summer is finally bearing its beautiful head whether the school says so or not. My epidermis screams as the first burn comes. The skin cells shrivel in the direct sunlight that treats my skin like bacon as it’s cooked. I sacrifice my pale skin to the sun in hopes that it will soon tan over.

Everything starts to come to an end, but it’s the kind of end we’ve all been waiting for. School is so close to being over, I can almost taste the cake after graduation. The sun shines so bright that heat makes its way down the halls that have been cold with the failed heaters older than my grandpa. Students beg their teachers or 5 minutes early to lunch or class out on the front lawn. It’s that time of year again.

I run my hands through the hair on my scalp and it shrieks as my hair follicles tug on the sun burnt skin. Water shoots out the shower head piercing my red skin. It hurts so good. Classes drag on. That assignment I should have done mocks me from my desk. It’s just not going to happen. Temperature goes up, and grades go down. I wish I could have the best of both worlds.

I can’t even think straight as the sun glares in the window at me. I can’t even comprehend my thoughts as my skin sizzles. I can’t even breathe with the sun’s heat wrapping its arms around me.

It is so close. Summer is sitting right around the corner, waiting patiently for school to say its goodbyes. It is so close.